It’s that time of year again when the nights draw in and you need to turn on the heating at home to stay warm. All too quickly it will turn colder and the first frosts will appear. Don’t wait for a weather warning to check your car. Acting now will ensure that you are set for the winter and whatever cold and damp weather it has in store for us this year and reduce the chances of your vehicle breaking down.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your car is as ready as it can be and that it won’t let you down when you need it most:
Under the bonnet
First things first: when was the last time you had your car serviced? If it’s been more than a year and you have been using it regularly or covered a large number of miles with it since the last service, then get it booked in now. Keeping your engine in optimum condition will greatly reduce the likelihood of it developing a problem due to the cold weather. Secondly, how old is your battery? With a five year average life expectancy, it’s worth casting your mind back to when you last had it changed or checked. A car battery works twice as hard in the winter as it also has to deal with heating, lighting, and wipers working for longer and more frequently. Next, you need to think about your coolant. Add some antifreeze to it so that the water doesn’t freeze leading to an overheated engine (and a potentially expensive repair job). The ideal mix for winter is equal parts water and antifreeze. Keep it topped up with antifreeze during the winter months too so that it doesn’t get too watered-down over time. Finally, it’s worth adding a bit of antifreeze to your screenwash solution too. It’ll stop the water freezing and allow you to clear your window quickly and effectively to get you going, particularly in the morning.
If you haven’t been keeping a regular eye on your tyres, now is the time to head outside and do a quick check. Is the pressure right? Do you need to add it to your list of things to do next time you stop off for fuel? What about the tyre tread? The legal limit is 1.6mm and above, but in the winter it is advisable to have a deeper tread of at least 3mm to help your tyres cope with the wet and icy conditions you’ll encounter. The easiest way to check is by inserting a 20p coin into the tread; if you can see the bottom ring then it’s time to change tyres. If you do a lot of driving in snowy and icy conditions then it may be worth considering switching to winter tyres. Now, let’s move on to your windscreen. Are there any cracks or chips on it? If yes, get them fixed now. They will only get worse once it gets frosty so best to deal with them before they become more complex and potentially more expensive to fix.
Want some expert help?
We’d be happy to help get your car ready for the winter season. At Double Dee Autos we can run a check, service, or help you with your tyres. Just call us on 020 8460 3040 and one of our specialists will help you out.